Posted August 15, 2012

Paterno biography: Penn State coach “sobbed uncontrollably” after firing

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Joe Paterno “sobbed uncontrollably” the day after he was fired as the Penn State football coach, sportswriter Joe Posnanski’s writes in new biography, Paterno. 

In its latest issue, GQ published an excerpt of the book, which is released next Tuesday. GQ.com posted three short sections of that excerpt on its website Wednesday.

In one scene from the day after Paterno’s firing, the coach is emotional.

On Thursday, Paterno met with his coaches at his house. He sobbed uncontrollably. This was his bad day. Later, one of his former captains, Brandon Short, stopped by the house. When Brandon asked, “How are you doing, Coach?” Paterno answered, “I’m okay,” but the last syllable was shaky, muffled by crying, and then he broke down and said, “I don’t know what I’m going to do with myself.” Nobody knew how to handle such emotion. Joe had always seemed invulnerable. On Thursday, though, he cried continually.

“My name,” he told Jay, “I have spent my whole life trying to make that name mean something. And now it’s gone.”

The timing of Posnanski’s book has received criticism. The writer agreed to the biography before the Jerry Sandusky scandal broke.

That scandal has reshaped Paterno’s legacy in the eyes of many. But despite the complexities that emerged as a result, the publisher moved the book’s release date up from Father’s Day 2013 to this August. The New York Times reported in July that plans for promoting the book had been changed.


30 comments
IamSkycake
IamSkycake

He sobbed much like a young boy that had been molested and felt there was no one there to help him or stand up for him ?  Good ! 

ryanjeanes
ryanjeanes

I hate to say this but he put that "name" over the health of those children, and ironically his name is gone, tarnished forever. Let this be a lesson to anyone else who thinks they're somehow doing themselves and the world a favor by allowing someone's life to be destroyed so you can hold up an image.

 

It is unclear whether he was crying over the loss of his name, the pain and suffering and trauma suffered by the children he did not protect, or a realization that what he did was wrong. Based on what I read it looks more like the name was what was still important to him, even in the end. I sincerely hope others look at this and learn. Shame. Absolute disgusted shame.

pd
pd

Not surprised he cried for his own legacy.  Paterno was under pressure to retire back in the early 2000's primarily because he had losing seasons in both 2000 and 2001.  So after the 2002 shower rape was reported to him, he knew if it became public knowledge his long time assistant was a child rapist that would be the final straw and his selfish and prideful quest for the all-time win record would be over.  For those Paterno apologist who say he did all he was supposed to do: how do you reconcile Joe allowing Sandusky full access to the football facilities?  Even if we are to assume the only incidents Joe knew about were the '98 and '02 rapes, how could he allow himself to sleep at night when he saw Sandusky using his continued access to PSU as a means to seduce his victims?  In light of the '98 report, I'm sure it was pure  coincidence Sandusky retired in '99?  JoePathetic

Kopernicus1967
Kopernicus1967

Very telling.

 

Too many people think that womanizing, drugs, greed are the only sins that someone in a position of power can be corrupted by.

 

Paterno's sin was pride.   Too proud to retire.  Allowed statues and buildings to be erected in this name. 

 

But this corruption had a cost:  looking the other way when young kids were being abused on your home grounds. His name became more important than other human beings.

 

Now his beloved Penn State (of which I am associated with) is paying the price both academically and in athletics.

JeffreyImm
JeffreyImm

If he only had such sorrow for the abused children, this would have never happened.

buffalo_markley
buffalo_markley

“My name,” he told Jay, “I have spent my whole life trying to make that name mean something. And now it’s gone.” But his name does mean something . . . just not what he wanted it to mean.  You reap what you sow, Joe.  Terrible he didn't say anything about the children who were hurt in his desire to be #1. 

billymcgowan30
billymcgowan30

tears for his legacy - his name - not one for the victims he cowardly turned his back on...absolutely NO SURPRISE...

kentuckyauthor1
kentuckyauthor1

A lifelong friendship with a child abuser. Bosom buddy with a pedophile. Co-worker with a lying manipulator. I suppose the tears were completely justified. He finally realized how self-serving his career had been, if not how costly it had been to the victims of his colleague. Paterno was not unequipped to deal with such a situation. He was willfully blind, fixated on football records and prestige. What a prize for Penn State, whose administrators had exactly the same priorities, despite the requirements of the law. This is the putrid standard of Educational Excellence that Penn State deserves and will pay for over the next several decades. I promise never to forgive this institution of lowest learning. And, as a high school teacher who frequently drafts letters of recommendation for graduating students, I will NEVER send one to Penn State. 

MICHAEL TATOM
MICHAEL TATOM

How could anyone look the other way like Mr. Paterno did? A good and decent man would have reported Mr. Sandusky to the authorities the moment he new what was going on.  He simply wasn't a good and decent man. I have nothing but disdain for him and his lack of morals.

10water
10water

Devil's Biography--written and published by his followers!!!!

nootaramus4241
nootaramus4241

I think Joe got a bad rap. this was a much bigger problem than he was equipped to handle. the chool AND police hsould have handled it. Not the football coach. He did not know how to handle the situation.

The Realist
The Realist

That piece of garbage of a human being was only sobbing for his personal loss - his name.  He still did not care about the vicitms.  Gutless human being.  

T M
T M

I think its time to leave this guy alone maybe time to go after all the Priests who molest boys and make a public display of them

Robert Mcsorley
Robert Mcsorley

@kentuckyauthor1  A 2011 report by U.S. News ranked the University of Kentucky #124 among U.S. Universities, which was the highest ranked university in the State of Kentucky.  No doubt, Kentucky’s ranking is weighted down by its basketball program.  What percentages of the Kentucky Wildcat Basketball Team do you suppose graduates every year with a degree from the University of Kentucky?  What is the percentage over the past 40 years? 

 

You can keep your Letters of Recommendation "author".  And learn how to spell.  It’s “JoePa”.   

MarkKubiske
MarkKubiske

 @kentuckyauthor1 I'm sure glad my kids don't go to your school, which presumably is in kentucky (say, how's that theory of evolution in science class coming along?).  You are obviously a close-minded fool willing to take official action based upon no understanding of the facts.  If you are so firm in your convictions, why don't you post your name and school so I can contact your principal and tell him/her how you let your misguided views affect your duties to your students.  If you are certain your position is on firm ground, you'll have nothing to worry about.

MarkKubiske
MarkKubiske

 @kentuckyauthor1 They were not lifelong friends.  Paterno really didn't like Sandusky very much, and after Sandusky retired the two of them very rarely interacted.  You need to learn some facts.

MarkKubiske
MarkKubiske

 @MICHAEL TATOM He didn't look the other way, MT.  He reported it to his boss and to the highest ranked administrator in charge of the University Park police department.   How is that looking the other way?  The Pennsylvania Attorney General stated publicly that Paterno did exactly what he should have done under Pennsylvania law. 

Joey
Joey

 @nootaramus4241 really? how do you not go to the police about this and make sure something is done? how do you continue to work with someone like Sandusky?

CarolineRedbrook
CarolineRedbrook

Bad rap?  He deluded the PSU Community for 60 years and enjoyed an undeserved idolatry for all that time,  But he got his just reward in the end. 

CarolineRedbrook
CarolineRedbrook

It's never, ever time to leave any pedophile-enabler alone!  The crime is too heinous.  

Inverse137
Inverse137

 @T M Umm, what?  What are these "public displays?"  Is the local drive-in theatre in your area having priest/love-toy date nights or something?

 

What a stupid comment.

Stewart1
Stewart1

 @T M Hey, here's an idea. Maybe we can do both things. We should go after pedophiles everywhere, not just in the Church because people hate Catholics -- of which, by the way, Paterno claimed to be one. I'm glad he was weeping. He felt a little bit like all those boys he helped Sandusky rape -- you know, except his anus wasn't burning from rape and their faces burning with shame. We need to call out each and every person who enabled children to be raped, "TM," so that nobody -- not a priest, not a coach, not a teacher, not a dope commenting on the internet -- will ever again decide to cover up for a rapist so long as he's "only" raping inner-city kids. Paterno let Sandusky use Penn State football as bait to lure innocent little boys as victims and agave him a safe place to sodomize them. I really don't give a crap that you think it's "time" to leave him alone. Until the end of time we should remind people that if you join forces with a child rapist, your name will be disgraced. I'm sorry you're bored by the tears of the victims.

kentuckyauthor1
kentuckyauthor1

 @MarkKubiske

 

Neighbors is all. Why would I send/entrust kids to an institution with such leadership? You probably have a lot at stake, here. Your own disappointment has been turned on critics of what you should be equally abhorred by. Why aren't you?  I suspect your own denial is parallel to JoPa's: what? no way! Ew! gross! Let it go, because it makes me feel uncomfortable. BTW, evolution is proven here: Truth will out. Criminals and those who abide them -- or those who excuse those who do -- are clearly no longer selected for advancement. Bottom LINE: Shame on PENN STATE. Get it?  Shame and guilt and all the consequences that go with them. But, to you, I'm the bad guy for drawing my own conclusions? You'd threaten MY job (but not Sandusky's)? Your logic defies humanity. 

 

 

Ryan1
Ryan1

 @MarkKubiske Did he fulfill his legal obligation - yes (if he didn't commit perjury, which is difficult to prove)

 

Did he fail morally - yes: if you go back to the 1998 investigation, the fact that he mysteriously returns to State College at the time of the incident, is certainly suspicious. He was well in the loop on the 2002 allegation. The fact that Sandusky still had access to the football facility alone, shows at the least, a lack of foresight and institutional control on his part. The fact that Sandusky was still around the program the way he was, in the weight room the week he was arrested, Paterno failed.

 

I am not of the opinion he is most to blame outside of Sandusky, that falls to the Schultz and Spainer, no matter what Paterno did or said it was their responsibility to do the right thing and they failed. Sure there is plausible deniability in that Sandusky apparently wasn't charged and had adopted kids - but if what is in the Freeh report is true, and we hear that at the trial for Schultz and Curley, and he did ask them not to go to the authorities, than the man is an absolute hypocrite.

billymcgowan30
billymcgowan30

 @MarkKubiske Youre right - Joe Paterno did absoulutely everything he was supposed to do - he did NOTHING wrong - he's a scapegoat - demonized villain - poor Joepa - poor poor joepa - all of our tears and sympathy should be for joepa and the paterno family...they are the REAL and ONLY victims...

MarkKubiske
MarkKubiske

 @Joey He did go to the police.  He made sure that McQ's information got to the highest ranked administrator in charge of the University Park police department.  He did not continue to work with Sandusky.  Sandusky retired in 1999.  YOu need to learn some facts.

Ryan1
Ryan1

 @CarolineRedbrook I believe it was 45 - bashing PSU at this point as far as football, definitely fair game, but the students and athletes had nothing to do with it and regardless, still a good school and top ranked public university